Seijun Suzuki (1923-2017)

He worked on “Lupin the 3rd”, while he mostly worked on live action movies, that took place in Japan. His works got the attention of Japanese directors, and Quentin Tarantino to work on ‘Kill Bill’ in 2004.

Seijun Suzuki was born in 1923, three months before the Great Kantō Earthquake, in Tokyo, Japan. Luckily, he, his younger brother Kenji, and his relatives survived. Although he was poor in the Ministry of Agriculture on psychics and exams, but was later enrolled into the Hirosaki college.

In 1943, he was recruited in the Japanese Imperial Army. And was sent out as Private Second Class in the Second World War in the Pacific. By close to Taiwan and the Philippines, he was shipwrecked. Three times. Two by submarine, and one by an air force attack. He spent 8 hours at sea, and was later rescued. In 1946, a year after the war in the Pacific came to an end, he was at the rank of Second Lieutenant, and brought home to finish his studies at the Hirosaki college.

Years later, by the time was finished at the University of Tokyo, he started to get into filmmaking. From yakuza movies to samurai flicks, he was wiser, and clever on filmmaking.

In the 1980’s, a few years after Hayao Miyazaki did “The Castle of Cagliostro”, he was very interested into anime and manga. So he worked on “Lupin III, Part III” in 1984, and as his very first anime movie, “Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon”.

By Valentine’s Day in 2017, he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on February 13th, 2017. He was dead as British actor Nigel Terry, and how he worked for the support of Japan. Most of his works are in Japanese, and were never in English dubbed. The same went for working on “Lupin the 3rd”.

He may have had a harsh life, and how he worked hard on those movies that he made, but I was surprised to hear about on what he did. On “Lupin the 3rd” since I saw that “Castle of Cagliostro” movie, thanks to Hayao Miyazaki.

R.I.P. Seijun, and say hi to Haruo Nakajima for me, will you?

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Dunkirk

Tom Hardy, Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Kenneth Branagh, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Jack Lowden, and Barry Keoghan together, are in this WWII movie, based on a true story. Some of the stars in this that I didn’t mentioned, and I do not like on, they did learned a lesson in this war movie. Thanks to director Christopher Nolan, who did his Oscar winning movie, “Interstellar”.

In May of 1940, during the Battle of France, a German victory was for them, by the time it was Nazi-occupied. Adolf Hitler was in Paris, France, and more of the German army began to push forward at Dunkirk.

Allied forces retreated and were trapped by the German army at Dunkirk. The Battle of Dunkirk was a German victory for the German army, but the evacuation for 400,000 Allied soldiers was a success. They gladly made it out of Dunkirk.

During the evacuation, some ships were destroyed by German U-boats, bombers and dogfighters. However fishing boats and yachts were able to get them out of Dunkirk. And when you watch this movie, there can be shots by air, the land, and on the water.

With less dialogue, and a successful evacuation, I give this 9 and 1/2 out of 10 stars. Although there was less air support for the Allied forces, but Tom Hardy did his best. And I can tell you this, by the time those soldiers had a homecoming to Britain again, a new battle began. The Battle of Britain. Mostly dogfighting. And thanks to that 1969 movie, that’s the very best one to ever watch on.

Shuntaro Hida (1917-2017)

He was a medical doctor at first, but Shuntaro Hida was shocked on what happened to Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. He was interviewed in two documentary movies, and was like Sumiteru Taniguchi and Keiji Nakazawa.

Born on January 1st, 1917, in Hiroshima, Japan, he lived a life before attending to the Nihon University. Years after the Great Kantō Earthquake and how Japan went into the Second World War, he was a physician. He served in the Japanese Imperial Army as that and a doctor.

On August 6th, 1945, he was an eyewitness to how the Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He was 28 years old when he saw the plane, and got into cover just in time. Cause when the bomb was dropped, came that sonic boom and that mushroom cloud.

After the blast, he pulled out a few survivors who needed medical attention. Some of them were caused by radiation that he had to be aware of. But was lucky that he, the survivors and the ones that he cared for, and loved on were alive. His family and friends too. But was able to write down on some notes on radiation that can occur worse things to the human body.

Years after the war ended, he continued to treat atomic bomb survivors and he became the Director of the Hibakusha Counselling Centre. In 2005, he was interviewed in that BBC documentary movie, “Hiroshima”. The second movie that he was interviewed on was “White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” in 2006. Along with Sumiteru Taniguchi, Keiji Nakazawa, and Sunao Tsuboi.

After Keiji Nakazawa died in 2012, he turned 100 years old five years later on January 1st, 2017. And three months and almost three weeks later, he died from pneumonia on 20 March 2017. He had a very long life. And after he died, so did Sumiteru Taniguchi on August 30th, 2017.

Born on New Years Day, and how he faced the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, he was lucky to get down, and avoid the blast. He was also pretty good on learning. To what can happen when radiation can occur to the human body. And was very good in those two documentary movies that I watched a while ago.

R.I.P. Shuntaro Hida. Both you, and those friends of yours were very good on those twp documentary movies that I was very interested on.

Keiji Nakazawa (1939-2012)


This manga author and artist is very interesting. He was interviewed in a documentary, and how he worked for Shōnen Jump a while ago. 

He was the author of “Barefoot Gen”, based on his entire life since his early age. At 6 years old, he lost most of his family when it came to August of 1945. The bombing of Hiroshima before Nagasaki. He and his mother were lucky to be alive when they made it. 

In 1961, he and his mom moved to Tokyo. And he became a full time manga artist for Shōnen Jump. Until after his mom died in 1966, Nakazawa returned to Hiroshima. And has gained memories on that destructive day in Hiroshima and began to express them in his manga stories. 

Barefoot Gen and Struck by Black Rain were good examples that he died. Telling that during the day when the bomb was dropped, Hiroshima survivors try to make it out while those who didn’t make it, were wiped out off the face of the Earth. And days later, came to the surrender of Japan on August 14th, 1945. Years later, they would leave somewhere in Japan for a brighter future that they could look into. That was how they were interesting, and how they remind me of “Grave of the Fireflies”. 

Later in his life, Barefoot Gen had two anime movies based on his work. Until his retirement in September of 2009. 

A year later in September of 2010, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He only had two years and two months to live. Until when it got worse, he died on December 19, 2012. Five days before Christmas Eve. He was 73 years of age, and was buried back in Hiroshima. The city where he was raised. Where he and his family are reunited together since that day that Hiroshima was wiped out. 

Those manga books that he did, and two anime movies on Barefoot Gen, I gotta try those out really. Cause they seem very interesting.

And as for Keiji Nakazawa, he was interviewed in a documentary movie once. “White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” from HBO. And I do feel very sorry for him on what happened on that tragic day. But later on, when he returned to Hiroshima until 2012, he had one last thing he had ever saw that made him smile on his deathbed. 

By looking out the window, right at that full moon, and not a cloud in the sky, he saw snow coming down on Hiroshima that gave him his very last white Christmas. 

R.I.P. Keiji. It was very nice to learn about your life, and how your manga books are very interesting. 

The Breadwinner (2017)

Based on the novel by Canadian author and activist Deborah Ellis, and thanking GKIDS for this animated movie, this tells about the days of Afghanistan. Where men were serious until war was declared after the attack on September 11th, 2001.

Before Canadian troops came rushing in, with the armies from the United States, women and children were frightened in the Middle East.

A girl’s one legged father was captured, and taken to prison. She risked her life to get him out. And to do that, she had to get herself a new look so no one will recognize her.

And while the prisoners in jail were executed, she saved her father and got her out just in time.

So thanks to GKIDS who did this, the rest of the Studio Ghibli movies, I give this 9 & 1/2 out of 10 stars.

But there is more masterpieces to come from GKIDS. Such as “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” from Studio Ponoc…

A Hard Days Night (1964)

This movie made cinema history as the Beatles as themselves, were to spend 36 hours in London, England.

Oscar nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Music, they had to get away from screaming fans in their adventure to remember. For John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

But I know one thing. Right after they broke up, not only John Lennon did “Happy Christmas, War is Over”, Paul McCartney on “Live and Let Die”, and George Harrison on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, but Ringo Starr was really good as the first narrator of the hit kids TV show, “Thomas the Tank Engine”. The same for “Shining Time Station”. Rev. Wilbert Awdry was glad to have him.

And in 1964, while those guys got away from fans just in time, he was doing good on ‘The Railway Series’. It would’ve been amazing if the Beatles met the author in person.

Which was why that I believe, in future, there would be a movie of how Ringo Starr met Rev. Wilbert Awdry. And how they did those TV shows together.

So for a successful movie, a ‘B+’ is what I give.

100th anniversary of the Halifax explosion

I was at age 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the summer of 2016 when my brothers were graduating from their universities. St. FX and Dalhousie. I read all about this event while paying a visit in Halifax. And today, comes the 100th anniversary of this disaster in Canadian history. The Halifax explosion.

On December 6th, 1917, at 7:30 am, while Canada was still involved in the First World War, two ships came into the Halifax harbour. The SS Imo and the SS Mont-Blanc. The Imo collided into the Mont-Blanc. The TNT cargo could explode if they were caught on fire. Unfortunately, after a fire struck both ships, everything exploded at 9:04 am. The massive blast was similar to the atomic bomb that dropped on Hiroshima in the Second World War, 28 years later. This one was 2.9 kilotons.

2,000 were killed as 9,000 were badly injured. Many homes and places all over Halifax were destroyed. The railway line was okay, but some trains came in to clear the mess. A few of them were to dispose the dead bodies, to those who died in the explosion.

However to those who suffered on injuries, you should’ve seen their faces after the explosion. Some of them had their cheeks ripped off, teeth torn out, and a few kids that lost bits of their hair, and skin damaged. Close to the muscles.

With hospitals that quickly became full, trees snapped, iron rails bent, rescue trains helping out, and how everything was demolished, 4,500 people without shelter faced hard times until by late January, 1918.

So when you look at these ruins, on a cold snowy day in 1917 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 100 years ago, imagine on how Judgement Day would be.

Everything you had, and everyone you knew, wiped out. You would have to start your life all over again. Cause for what happened, it was bloody hell, a year after Kirk Douglas was born.

Today in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadians have been at monuments, and would remember their grandfathers and grandmothers who faced the Halifax explosion on December 6th, 1917. They’ve been talking about their 100th anniversary on the news, and have been showing 1 hour documentary movies of how this disaster occurred. And in future, they’ll be a movie about this disaster one day. Pretty much like how “Deepwater Horizon” was. Oscar nominated.

So here’s to those, who survived the Halifax Explosion. R.I.P. We never forgot this disaster that has ever shocked Canada in it’s history.

Battle of the Bulge (1965)

Nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, this is a war movie of how people can outsmart the enemy. Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, Robert Shaw, Charles Bronson, and Telly Savalas are the only guys that I know that were in this.

In December of 1944, during the Second World War, Allied forces in the Ardenne forest, faced heavy fire from Panzer tanks. Lots of Panzer tanks. They fell back, but almost got into some traps planned by the German army.

However, they fought back and outsmarted the German army again. So the Battle of the Bulge became an Allied victory from December 16th, 1944 to January 25th, 1945. It maybe dramatic and serious, but they did very good.

So for a Second World War movie that took place in Christmas, on a true story, 7.8 out of 10 stars.

Logan Lucky

From the director who did “Ocean’s Eleven” with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, and more, comes a new comedy heist movie.

Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katherine Waterston, Brian Gleeson and Seth McFarlane are in this movie. And that’s not all, Seth McFarlane learned a lesson in this heist movie. Cause for what he did a while back….very crappy.

Construction workers, and a few criminals were able to pull off this heist. Their objective was to steal lots of cash. At a NASCAR speedway.

So rather than “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, this really beats the hell out of that crappy movie.

In fact, this was pretty much like “Ocean’s Eleven” in 2001. A successful heist, and they were never caught at all. And that daughter on stage, before the climax, she sang Channing Tatum’s favourite John Denver song. “Take Me Home, Country Roads”.

My dad and I really enjoyed this. So I’m giving his 8 and 1/2 out of 10 stars. And I do ask my dad a favour really. The next time we get into anything related to John Denver and his song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, he’ll try “Whisper of the Heart” from Studio Ghibli.

They did their own version of “Country Roads” in that anime movie, for that was really spectacular on.

Passchendaele (WW1 movie)

Paul Gross was the director and star of this historic WW1 movie. For Canada’s history and how they were involved in WW1. And I was lucky enough to watch this just in time really, just before they could do their anniversary on this WW1 event.

In 1917, after the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Hill 70, Canadian troops in Europe were fighting very hard. Only one came back home, and was having nightmares about what happened. Not shell shocked.

However, a young man from Calgary, Alberta did wanted to go and fight as a soldier. So on a second tour with those two Canadian soldiers, they went back to Europe to face Passchendale. A land in ruins when it’s all rainy and very muddy.

Many platoons had fought hard against the German army, at the very climax. A Canadian victory finally came to the Battle of Passchendale.

So like how I watched “Paths of Glory” with Kirk Douglas, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, Paul Gross was really good. Although this had too much parts of romance, but I’m giving this war movie 8/10 stars. Really good.

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